Not everyone is enamored with PlayStation Now but clearly, the numbers are painting a rosier picture.
Plus, Sony likes how the streaming service can give older franchises renewed life. Now's senior director, Jack Buser, tells the [a]list daily that the cloud-based rental service adds a "long tail" this industry so desperately needs:
"This…speaks to the lifecycle of the game in our industry. In the games industry, we've been very focused on the first few months after a game is released. Unlike our friends in the movie and music industries, there wasn't as much of a long tail for the game industry. I think PlayStation Now has an extremely interesting role to play as the lifecycle of the game industry matures."
Buser added that this gives publishers the chance to rejuvenate IPs and generate some extra revenue. He says it gets gamers talking about older titles long after the game launched, which was "previously very difficult to do in this industry." With over 300 PS3 games currently available on Now and more to come, it looks like the service is pushing forward, and the engagement numbers are solid. Added Buser:
"If you look at some of the engagement metrics recently on the service, you can see that users are highly engaged. Year over year, we've seen a 300 percent increase in PS Now users – this is largely due to the subscription being so compelling. If you look at usage per week, average usage is going to be about 4 hours, which is a very high engagement metric. If you look at it per session, we're looking at about 45 minutes a session, and for popular games over an hour."
Buser says this is indicative of people coming in, playing for a long time, and even coming back multiple times per week. So, even if you aren't using this service, obviously a lot of people are, and it's true that games tend to disappear all to quickly in this industry. Perhaps Now will be more important than we think…